Rajnath Singh urges GJM to call off strike, allowing normalcy to return in Darjeeling

| Updated: Aug 23, 2017 11:20 IST

New Delhi [India], August 13 (ANI): Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday urged the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha (GJM) and other stakeholders to call off their hunger strike and to withdraw the bandh, allowing normalcy to return in Darjeeling to create an atmosphere for finding a solution to the ongoing crisis. The minister also appealed to the West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to initiate a dialogue with the stakeholders to resolve the issue. "I am concerned about the developments in Darjeeling and the loss of valuable lives and sufferings of people over the past 60 days which pains me immensely. Violence can never be a solution to any problem," Rajnath said, in a meeting attended by the GJM, the Gorkha National Liberation Front (GNLF), the Communist Party of Revolutionary Marxists and other stakeholders. Rajnath said that, in a democracy, solutions are always found through restraint, mutual dialogue and within the legal ambit. "We all are aware of the strategic importance of the locality and the challenges that we face in the region, and I am kept informed of the developments on a regular basis from S.S. Ahluwalia (MP from Darjeeling)," he said. He said the state government should restore all civil supplies and also restore internet services, cable TV and local channels. "I also appeal to the people of Darjeeling to display sensitivity, and also keep in mind their civic responsibilities. No grievances and problems can be resolved without any dialogue," he added. The delegation of stakeholders submitted a memorandum of their demands to the Union Home Minister today on the same. This is the second time when Rajnath has called for talks in the recent past. The north-eastern state has been on boil for the past two months, demanding a separate state of Gorkaland. The internet and the television services have been suspended in this region. The GJM had called for an indefinite strike in Darjeeling hills with effect from June 12 demanding a separate state of Gorkhaland. Meanwhile, the condition of 12 men sitting on hunger strike in support of Gorkhaland is deteriorating. (ANI)